Getting a visa for Poland is relatively straightforward, especially since the country is party to the Schengen Agreement. Nationals of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as those of designated countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, are afforded visa-free entry into Poland for holiday or business purposes for up to 90 days.
Travellers who do not fall into the above categories are required to apply for a Schengen visa to visit Poland. All travellers entering Poland should have a passport valid for at least three months past the date of entry, and it must have been issued within the last 10 years.
Schengen visas for Poland
Schengen visa applicants will need to gather the required documents, complete the visa application form, and submit these to the Polish embassy or consulate in their home country before they travel. All documents must be in English or Polish.
If applying for a Schengen visa to travel to Poland for business, it may be necessary to include a letter of invitation from the Polish business party and a letter from one's local employer stating the purpose of their visit. If attending a conference, proof of registration and accommodation may be required.
Residence permits for Poland
Those wishing to stay in Poland for longer than 90 days for work or study, or for family reasons, are required to apply for a residence or temporary residence permit. Applications for residence permits for Poland should be made to the appropriate regional office where the expat intends to live in Poland.
Residence permits are granted for a maximum of three years and can be subsequently renewed for a further three-year period. Expats entering Poland may be required to show proof of sufficient resources to support themselves financially while living in the country, as well as sufficient health insurance for the duration of their stay.
Once an expat has successfully submitted their residence permit application, they will receive a residence card, which serves as confirmation of their identity during their stay in Poland.
*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For information on obtaining a work visa, see Work Permits for Poland
►Read Doing Business in Poland for information about Polish business culture
"It took a couple of months for me to get my Polish residency, which also allowed me to work. It involved a lot of paperwork and a bit of expense, but there was no issue with getting it granted."
Read more about expat life in Poland in our interview with Australian expat Rose.
Are you an expat living in Poland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Poland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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